Survivor of abuse by priest asks for grace, comfort as allegations surface at local parishes

Priests removed from their duties while investigations underway

CONVERSE, Texas – Two priests from separate parishes in the area were removed from duties following allegations of sexual misconduct. A survivor of abuse is urging parishes to show grace to those brave enough to come forward.

Zac Zepeda is a deacon with a San Antonio area church and a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. The network provides emotional support to victims wounded by religious and institutional authorities.

News of two local priests involved in sexual misconduct is disheartening, yet Zepeda applauded the archdiocese’s quick action to remove the priests from duties until the investigations are complete.

“Just because there’s an investigation doesn’t mean these allegations are true or are proven. But the church has previously only done a canonical investigation and not a civil investigation. So I applaud the archbishop for engaging with the civil authorities,” Zepeda said.

He urges parishioners to show grace and comfort to all those involved.

“It takes a lot of courage to come forth with those allegations and then also not to prejudge, wait ‘til all the facts are out,” Zepeda said.

Over the weekend, parishioners at St. Monica Catholic Church in Converse were notified of an internal investigation into abuse allegations involving Father Alejandro Ortega. According to an Archdiocese of San Antonio statement, the teen came forward during a church retreat, and the parents were notified.

About 30 miles north, at St. Joseph Catholic Church-Honey Creek, Rev. Jesus Eduardo Martinez-Solis was also removed. A statement by the archdiocese says he’s facing “substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual grooming of a minor.” The report was received through a misconduct hotline on July 25.

The Archdiocesan Review Board and an independent investigator reviewed both allegations. The church then reported the allegations to law enforcement authorities.

The Comal County Sheriff’s Office says an investigation is underway.

The Bexar County District Attorney’s Office sent the following statement:

“Our role primarily involves prosecution of cases investigated by and referred to us by law enforcement agencies. It is our understanding that the investigation into these allegations is still pending and thus we are unable to comment further at this time.”


Catholic priest from Converse removed from duties due to sexual abuse allegations

Archdiocese of San Antonio removes Comal County priest following sexual misconduct allegations

About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

Recommended Videos